“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” according to George Santayana’s overused adage. While this aphorism bears an inherent truth, Santayana should have followed it with: “And those who are ignorant of history ought not write about it.”

The latter has recently become increasingly apparent. Starting no later than 2016, writers and social media trolls have highlighted purported parallels between President Donald Trump and ancient Rome’s Julius Caesar. The problem is that such analogies further polarize American society and should make historians cringe.

Both Trump loyalists and his fiercest detractors have drawn these comparisons as compliments as well as criticisms. Not long ago, the author of a Daily Caller opinion column heralded Trump as “America’s Julius Caesar” as if that were a good thing, but the writer’s rationale was limited in scope. He stated that like Julius Caesar, Trump is a “winner” and a great negotiator who will overthrow a corrupt elite establishment — among other things. But the author glosses over the darker truth about Caesar, including his history of corruption and cruelty…